Jesuit Website Refers to Fr. Sosa as the First Superior General to “Baptize Himself a Buddhist”






 ‘It is not permitted to be present at the sacred rites of infidels and heretics in such a way that you would be judged to be in communion with them’.

St. Alphonsus LiguoriTheologia Moralis, Lib.5, Tract. 1, Cap. 3.

I don’t even know where to start.

Thanks to a tip from a reader this morning, I headed over to the official website of the Conference of Jesuit Provincials in Latin America and the Caribbean.

While there, I did some looking around. I followed the link to their Facebook page. It’s colorful. Colorful in a way that carries its own possibly troubling meaning these days:

The specific article I was alerted to was this one, about Fr. Arturo Sosa, the alwayscontroversial new Superior General of the Jesuits, who recently participated in a conference in Cambodia “between Buddhists and Christians who work for peace.”

He gave a homily, according to the article, on the themes of diversity, fear of difference, the “building of walls” that results from fear, and violence.


He then visited a Buddhist temple, where he addressed the 80 monks gathered there as follows:

Thank you so much for your time and the wisdom you shared today.

I have learned many things from you, and you have given me many things to think about and pray about. It is deeply consoling to see how we are united in our desire to promote peace and reconciliation in our world. It is also comforting to see how we share the belief that the path to peace begins from within, from the deep transformation of the inner person, from growth into detachment and loving-kindness.

I am grateful for what my Jesuit brethren do to promote dialogue with Buddhism here in Cambodia, whether at the level of academic exchange, prayer together or in the shared standard of living and common action at the service of the poor. Thank you for the meaningful and inspiring testimony of how you live our Jesuit mission of reconciliation.

Among the many things I have learned from Pope Francis, one is his insistence on the importance of creating a culture of encounter. He uses this phrase all the time. He believes that in our divided world, where some want to build walls, what we must do is to promote the encounter, without fear and respect, people who meet people, listening deeply and respectfully to each other, building relationships and friendships.

Thank you for this meeting event this afternoon, which has enriched me, and I hope it will bear fruit in service.

[Translation by Google]

It was an entirely pedestrian address. Sanitized. No mention of Jesus Christ. No indication of Fr. Sosa’s desire to bring souls to the fullness of Truth, as so many of his forebears in the Society of Jesus were known for. As I finished reading through it, in fact, I couldn’t help but think of St. Francis Xavier, the apostle to Asia. One of the first Jesuits, he worked tirelessly in India, Malaysia, Japan, and had he not fallen ill before reaching the mainland, would have become a missionary to China as well. The Catholic Encyclopedia says of St. Francis Xavier:

It is truly a matter of wonder that one man in the short space of ten years (6 May, 1542 – 2 December, 1552) could have visited so many countries, traversed so many seas, preached the Gospel to so many nations, and converted so many infidels. The incomparable apostolic zeal which animated him, and the stupendous miracles which God wrought through him, explain this marvel, which has no equal elsewhere. The list of the principal miracles may be found in the Bull of canonization. St. Francis Xavier is considered the greatest missionary since the time of the Apostles, and the zeal he displayed, the wonderful miracles he performed, and the great number of souls he brought to the light of true Faith, entitle him to this distinction.

What the Jesuits of 2017 present us with instead in the example of their leader, Fr. Sosa, is the following image, with a bizarre caption that appears when one holds their mouse over the photo:

If you can’t read it, it says, “Father Sosa is officially the first Superior Jesuit in Buddhist Baptism.” This is a rough machine translation of the caption written into the code of the page, which reads, in Spanish, “Padre Sosa es oficialmente el primer Superior Jesuita en bautizarse budista.” More clearly put: “Father Sosa is officially the first Jesuit Superior to baptize himself Buddhist.” 

Now, I have no idea what it means to “baptize oneself Buddhist.” Probably because it doesn’t. Mean anything, that is. Buddhists don’t baptize. Buddhists don’t really even believe in God. As Carl Olson and Anthony Clark explained in this piece on Catholicism and Buddhism from Ignatius Insight:

It is sometimes said that Buddhism is atheistic. Yet Buddhism is not interested in the question of God, so it is more accurate to describe it as agnostic. Buddhism “works” whether or not there is a God. A Buddhist allows others to believe in a God or gods, but such beliefs are merely convenient means to the final end, which has nothing to do with a God or gods. “God is neither affirmed nor denied by Buddhism,” wrote Merton in Mystics and Zen Masters, “insofar as Buddhists consider such affirmations and denials to be dualistic, therefore irrelevant to the main purpose of Buddhism, which is emancipation from all forms of dualistic thought.”

It was the common teaching of the Church before the heady days of ecumenism and interfaith mania following the Second Vatican Council that Catholics were to avoid the majority of ecumenical prayer and of course, interfaith gatherings.

In the excellent catechetical text, My Catholic Faith: A Manual of Religion, we read:

How does a Catholic sin against faith?

A Catholic sins against faith by infidelity, apostasy, heresy, indifferent to them, and by taking part in non-Catholic worship.

We may lose our faith by: (a) not learning well the doctrines of the church; space (b) willfully doubting trues that have been revealed to the church; (c) reading books and other literature against our religion; space (d) space attending assemblies of people who are opposed to our religion; and space (e) space neglecting the practice of our religion.

And further:

Persons who do not believe in Christianity as a divinely revealed religion, whether they have been baptized or not, are commonly referred to as quote infidels”. Infidelity is refusal to believe in anything that cannot be perceived with the senses, or comprehended with the understanding.

But is it not utterly reasonable to have faith in Almighty God Who knows much more than we can ever hope to know and Who can do things beyond our understanding? It is necessary that we serve God in the way He requires, not in the way it pleases us to do so. For this reason we must practice the religion revealed by God, and avoid making up our own religions according to our wins and innumerable fancies. Buddhists, Mohammedans, Hindus, Jews, and pagans, are infidels. As explained, Christians can also become infidels.


Why does a Catholic sin against faith by taking part in non-Catholic worship?

A Catholic sins against faith by taking part in non-Catholic worship, because he thus professes belief in a religion he knows is false.

1.) It is wrong to be present at Protestant or Jewish services even when we do not participate in them, because such services are intended to honor God in a manner he does not wish to be honored in. If he instituted the church of his own he must wish to be honored in the ways of that church. In addition we then give bad example, and expose ourselves to the danger of losing our faith.

When necessary, for social obligations, a Catholic may be present at a non-Catholic wedding or funeral, but he must not participate in the services. In no case may he attend other services of non-Catholic churches, such as the installation of their ministers, sermons, etc.

Now, look again at the picture above. Does Fr. Sosa appear to be “taking part in non-Catholic worship”?

It certainly does.

And now the members of his own order see nothing wrong in saying that he has “baptized himself a Buddhist.”

Those of you who’ve been paying attention for a long time will no doubt be able to point to other similar examples in the not-too-distant past, perhaps most notably the so-called “ecumenical” prayer gatherings at Assisi, under the leadership of Pope John Paul II. Converts and those who’ve come recently to study the Church’s traditional teachings may not be aware of these things. For the sake of space, and my own sanity, I won’t begin listing them here. An exhaustive treatment would span many pages.

This kind of thing has to stop. As I’ve written before, as Catholics, we can’t be indifferent to indifferentism. And though we may be tempted to say, “What’s the big deal, this happens all the time now!”, we should resist that temptation. It’s always a big deal. It’s a big deal that we’ve become so cynical that it barely raises an eyebrow these days.

At times like these, I reflexively reach for the Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Pope Pius XI), which I’ve shared with you before:

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: “Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever.” Amen.

And please pray for Fr. Sosa. He leads the deeply troubled order of which our own pope is a member.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments


Tale of 2 Cities
2.7 million
2.15 million
Median HH Income
% African-American
% Hispanic
% Asian
% Non-Hispanic White
Pretty similar until
Chicago, IL
Houston, TX
Concealed CarryLegal
# of Gun Stores
184 Dedicated gun stores plus 1500 – legal places to buy guns–Wal-Mart, K-mart, sporting goods, etc.
Homicides, 2012
Homicides per 100K
Av. January high temp (F)
Conclusion: Cold weather causes murders. This is due to global warming.
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Free Will, Fulfillment and Excommunication

Crisis Magazine


[ Emphasis and {Commentary} in red type by Abyssum ]


Recently, Bishop Paprocki releaseddecree on “same-sex ‘marriage’ and related pastoral issues.” Some Catholics interpreted it as an unjust singling-out (and rejection) of a specific group of persons. In terms of sin itself they do have a point—we are all sinners. However, some went as far as to interpret it as a form of excommunication. What seemed absent in the grievances I encountered was an understanding of a person’s specific choice to continually reject God. That’s significant because that’s where we enter the realm of excommunication, which is a serious matter worth exploring.

What does it mean to reject God?
We reject God anytime we willfully reject the Order of Creation, as revealed in nature.

This includes:

  1. Elevating finite creation above infinite Creator.
  2. Assuming that our Creator God isn’t capable of forgiving the sins of persons he created.
  3. Elevating temporal human experience to be of greater importance/value than objective truth itself.

When we choose to reject God (via our rejection of the Order of Creation), we are guilty of a sin of commission. However, if sin is perceived as being merely philosophical in nature (possibly invented by the Church), it can easily be (errantly) ignored. Thus, we might do well to re-introduce sin in terms of a concrete standard. In the eyes of the Church, that standard is the Order of Creation, as revealed in nature. This is the art of the Divine Artist, which encompasses both visible and invisible realms, and both intra-universal and extra-universal domains. It’s what the Church refers to as natural law, or what is revealed to be of nature, or natural (which is commonly misinterpreted to mean what “feels natural” or what comes easily).

A Matter of Approach
To better understand, it may be valuable for us to consider the following questions.

Do we see the Church as:

  1. The inventor of truth, or the upholder of truth?
  2. Merely “rules” to follow, or a mystery to pursue?
  3. A means of establishing social order and behavioral norms, or a means to draw persons into the most holy, virtuous, and intimate encounter with the Creator of our universe through the Sacraments instituted by Christ?

If the latter (of each) are not wholeheartedly embraced, then we are at greater risk of inaccurately perceiving excommunication as a “punishment” from the Church for “stepping out of line” behaviorally. However, it is the latter (of each) that draws us to shift our focus from behavior to holiness and virtue. Since excommunication is a matter of a person being unrepentantly attached to their chosen sin in their heart (which may drive certain behavioral choices), it follows that we ought to approach excommunication though the lens of holiness and virtue, for those are matters of the heart. Further, in addressing the attachments of our hearts (and the disposition of our hearts overall) above any notion of behavior, we not only elevate the conversation to be about one’s openness to growing in the fullness of virtue, but we also introduce an approach that discriminates against no one, for we all have been gifted with the fullness of free will over our hearts.

This approach also illuminates the joyful witness to the vocation of “Yes” (to holiness and virtue), which lifts us past the fixation on the (false) vocation of “No” (to behavior management based on having to deny our deepest desires “in order to be a good Catholic”). It’s virtue and holiness that challenge us to transform our hearts to desire something greater; a more complete unity with God, further aligned with his will. Virtue thus challenges us to die to ourselves and to our own attachments so that we may be more profoundly aligned with the truths of the Order of Creation, as revealed in nature.  {This beautiful paragraph really vitiates the current heterodoxy in Rome that law and the observance of law renders one “rigid”.}

The Influence of Experience
Many Catholics choose to endorse homosexual relationships because they see persons involved as happy, or even complementary (in terms of masculine/feminine interests/activities/tendencies, emotional state, and or even personality). They may also see a number of redeeming human qualities within such relationships—which of course may be present. However, these circumstances don’t undo the existence of the Order of Creation itself, or a person’s choice to reject it. Unfortunately, however, sentimentalism seems to be influencing people to ignore the Order of Creation in its fullness, in favor of personal experience.

Despite any positive reflection of humanity that may be present within a homosexual relationship, what remains is the commitment to utilize sexual faculties in a way that counters their purpose as structurally created. Further, this rejection of the Order of Creation is chosen with foreknowledge, and it continues in perpetuity for the length of the homosexual relationship itself. Thus, a person in such a relationship may be, dependent on degree of knowledge, in a state of excommunication in perpetuity, such as long as they choose to remain in that relationship.  {Wow!  That is really telling it as it truly is.  The perceived ‘good’ of an illicit relationship disguises the fundamental truth that the relationship is self destructive, and that is true whether the relationship is homosexual (which is the point of the author) or heterosexual (which is also true).}

Bound to a Journey?
Given that neuroscience, educational psychology, and even many contemporary gender ideology activists (never mind the Catechism itself) agree that it’s inaccurate to claim a person is “created that way by God,” and given that attractions experienced are not specifically chosen while our embraced identities are specifically chosen, it follows that no one is bound to any particular life trajectory along any orientation, and no one is bound to any particular identity or way of seeing themselves. Thus, no one is bound to any particular journey towards fulfillment.

This is relevant because many people in homosexual relationships believe that God created them that way and that it’s against their “nature” to deny themselves a homosexual relationship as a means of fulfillment. However, given that self-concept influences what we perceive to be fulfilling, we might do well to look at the bigger question of identity formation, alongside addressing one’s openness to growing in the fullness of virtue.

Perhaps it would be valuable for people to prayerfully consider how:

  1. Our brains are formed in the ways we use them.
  2. Our future desires are influenced by the desires we pursue today.
  3. We are subject to unintended after-effects of our choices, which subconsciously condition our brains to desire certain things more or less intensely.
  4. Continuously tasting the joy of holiness and virtue draws us to increasingly desire that which is holy and virtuous.
  5. The Church calls all people (regardless of attractions experienced) to holy, virtuous sexuality.

The fact is, by our own free will, we “become” an identity in as much as we choose that to be the case. As we wholeheartedly embrace identities (not just to describe but to define ourselves), we become more firmly entrenched within an idea of how we ought to pursue fulfillment. This greatly influences the types of behavioral choices we will make going forward, and those choices will reflect our decisions to reject or not reject the Order of Creation in its fullness. However, because of our free will, we can always choose to reject the rejecting of the Order of Creation, and return to a more complete union with God. Thus, with regard to excommunication, it means that no person is bound to stay excommunicated, unless they choose that to be the case by their continued choice to reject God with full knowledge of their circumstance. {This valuable paragraph adds to my campaign against pornography; when one willingly watches pornography one “becomes” addicted even as cocaine or other drugs cause one’s brain to shape the future choices one makes.}

For as long as we are in that state of awareness but are unwilling to turn away from this commitment (which indeed may involve great personal sacrifice), we are choosing to maintain our rejection of the Order of Creation, rejection of God as Divine Artist, and our state of self-imposed excommunication.  {Excommunication Latae Sentencia, i.e. self-imposed.}

In some cases, excommunication could be remedied via a sincere confession with a truly contrite heart, paired with a firm, authentic resolve to “go and sin no more,” or rather, “go and uphold nature and restore the Order of Creation.” Where an official excommunication decree has been issued {excommunication ferendae sententiae} (on account of a person’s refusal to repent of their rejection of the Order of Creation), there may be further action required before the decree is lifted.

The Church desires we all find joy and fulfillment, but the Church also knows that our Infinite Creator will provide joy and fulfillment to the greatest degree, especially through the Sacraments. Thus, it’s with a grieving heart that the Church is forced to deny persons certain sacraments, and or acknowledge excommunication, because she knows those Sacraments are able to draw us to that joy and fulfillment that we were created to enter. The Church longs for our return to God regardless of our journeys thus far, so that our hearts may become fully open to the graces that he is waiting to pour out onto us. These are the graces that allow us to live joyfully (even amid suffering) whilst being fed by the Creator of the Order of Creation, whose love and mercy is truly limitless.

Editor’s note: Pictured above is Bishop Paprocki of Springfield delivering a sermon in 2013.

Hudson Byblow


Hudson Byblow lives in the Midwest where he has a career in education. He has presented at several conferences for the Courage Apostolate and is often invited to share his testimony to clergy, schools and parishes. He consults for various Catholic agencies, speakers, and educators, in the United States and in Canada. His website is






  • This from my treasured copy of Father Faber’s Spiritual Conferences from 1859. Yes EIGHTEEN FIFTY NINE and as with almost every piece in that book of his, it positively overflows holiness, mercy and truth. There is NO way to understand deep SSA without acknowledging his point:

    “It is taken for granted that every spiritual disease has a cure – not a partial alleviation, not a counterbalancing comfort, not a check which shall hinder its becoming fatal, but an absolute cure, a specific which shall end in a complete restoration to health. I get quite angry with books and sermons for the thoughtless things they say about this. Surely, it is a simple untruth. In the matter of bodily health, there are diseases which cannot be cured, wounds which will leave us maimed or lamed to the end of life, constitutional maladies which can be controlled and limited, yet never cured. With such evils, we have to content ourselves with medical superintendence, ceaseless physic, a dietary yoke and the like. Why should we be surprised at finding similar maladies in the spiritual life? Look at the absurdity of the opposite supposition. You do not surely believe in the perfectability of human nature on this side of the grave or that your corrupt natures shall become incorruptible while still mortal. Yet your vexation when you can not have a regular cure, cut and dried, for every spiritual disease implies that you have these monstrous expectations. Some spiritual maladies are incurable of themselves because of our nature. This is true of self-deceit and other forms of self-love. Others are incurable in the individual case; and this may arise from past sin or natural character or from unchangeable outward circumstances. In some cases the knowledge of the evil is all that we can attain to. In many cases the management of the mischief is our highest attainment. In others, the diminution of it is the utmost we can hope for. Surely this is common sense. The other doctrine, beside being nonsense, is a grand source of discouragement, while it also foments unreality and fosters delusions.”
    -Father Frederick Faber “THE MONOTONY OF PIETY”

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      Outstanding find Klos. Thank you.

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        Faber’s Spiritual Conferences are one of the treasures of Catholic faith. ‘On Kindness’ is the most tender and spiritually nourishing of all his works. His ‘On Self Deceit’ is one of the most terrifyingly expositions of fallen humanity ever put on the page – and yet it is exhilarating because TRUE. In the temperamental struggle between Newman and Faber, I have always been a ‘Faberite’.

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      Does he have a Cause yet – and if not, why not?

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        That would be a long, long shot.
        “In recent years, however, Faber’s reputation has suffered. Some
        Catholics have found him too Roman, too Marian, too exuberant in his
        piety. Some Newman scholars have sided with Newman in his quarrel with
        Faber and have written disparagingly of Faber. And even Faber’s classic
        hymn has been tampered with. In the 1990s, feminist-minded church
        musicians added a new stanza to “Faith of Our Fathers”:

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    Revealed truth must be taught and defended especially under the regrettable pontificate of “who am I to judge”

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    Excellent article. Ex-communication is ontological first and ecclesiological second. The Church confirms the reality of a person’s self-imposed excommunication. One suggestion: we are all bound to a certain ontological trajectory…we are all called to live out the vocation of a Child of God. We can learn about this vocation by studying the saints, partaking of the sacraments, praying the Rosary, daily mass, and conforming our lives more and more to the life of that ultimate Child of God, the Son of God: Jesus Christ.

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    I’m printing Bishop Paprocki’s decree to study it, but at first glance I would say it deserves our applause and support. By contrast the protests recounted in the New Way’s Ministry report are ludicrous–including those of Fr. James Martin (again). I thought Jesuits were supposed to be brilliant. His criticism is fuzzy and disproportionate comparing what Hudson points out in his article as a deliberate and sustained rejection, explicit or implicit of God and the Order of Creation, with an occasional failure to care for the poor, or creation, or to be forgiving. Where is the rigour of thought that once characterized–so we are told–the Society of Jesus? How do Fr. James Schall and Fr. Mitch Pacwa and Fr. Fessio and others put up with this? Long overdue for a house cleaning and restoration.

    Christ is in our midst,

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    I loved this article! It was just brilliant!

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    Unfortunately, many peoples’ idea of what excommunication means is still colored by the medieval practice of barring such persons from even entering a church. That practice was long-abandoned; excommunication simply means that one is not admitted to Holy Communion. To sum it up, the purpose of excommunication is not and has never been punishment; it is meant to help the person avoid punishment, of the eternal variety.

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    It seems to me that many same-sex attracted men & women begin by insisting that “God made me this way”, proceed from there to an assertion of the unjustness or cruelty of God, and end up rejecting the notion of moral absolutes as a means of justifying their actions. I have never, ever met an active SSA man or woman who retained any belief in moral absolutes of any kind.

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    Excellent presentation, clear logic, undeniable truth. Thank-you.

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    Bishop Paprocki, is defending the Faith and not changing the image of the Church = Christ Truly a faithful Apostle. May the Holy Spirit daily fill his heart with the Fire that will spread the fulness of the Lord’s teachings.

    Present day Apostles and priests who change the Image of the Vatican

    Vatican cardinal
    — Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio:
    — ‘Amoris Laetitia’ allows some remarried to take Communion

    – Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia —Vatican Pro-Life Academy.

    Vatican pro-life academy head defends pro-abortion member by saying he’s not pro-abortion

    Blaming “media misinterpretations,” Paglia said there is “practically nothing” accurate in allegations that Biggar is “in favor of abortion

    Paglia said this despite the fact that the University of Oxford professor stated rather unequivocally in that 2011 dialogue with pro-infanticide ethicist Peter Singer that a preborn baby is “not … the same kind of thing as an adult or a mature human being” and therefore does not deserve “quite the same treatment.”
    At that time, Biggar said, “I would be inclined to draw the line for abortion at 18 weeks after conception, which is roughly about the earliest time when there is some evidence of brain activity, and therefore of consciousness,” as reported by Standpoint Magazine.

    Archbishop Paglia also overlooked Biggar’s statement one year later when he was the keynote speaker for an event at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. “It is not true that all abortion is equivalent to murder,” Biggar said.

    —-Fr. Antoni Spadaro —(mouth piece of Pope Francis)
    Under Spadaro’s direction, La Civiltà Cattolica has consistently asserted during and after the Synod of the Family that the Church is evolving toward allowing Communion for the divorced and remarried.

    1 – Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, Germany

    Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the country’s bishops’ conference, said, “We are not just a subsidiary of Rome,” and the synod on the family “cannot prescribe in detail what we have to do in Germany.” This is of particular concern, given that the majority of German bishops wish to allow holy Communion to remarried divorcees, a banned practice, but one bishops already turn a blind eye to, especially in many German dioceses, but also in others.

    2-Bishop Robert McElory — San Diego, California

    Calls upon his priests in his diocese to welcome the active LGBT community.
    Calls upon his priests to consider allowing divorced and remarried to approach Holy Communion.

    3-Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin – Newark,New Jersey

    Welcomes gay activists to his cathedral. Presents himself as their brother.
    Did not the Lord Jesus say that His brother, His sister, His mother is one who does the Will of the Father.

    The gay activists community are not doing the Will of the Father. If the Cardinal accepts them as they are, is he doing the Will of the Father? If not, then the Cardinal is falsely attributing his role as –brother.

    4-Bishop Patrick McGrath, Bishop of San Jose, Ca.

    He tells practicing homosexauls will not be refused the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

    He tells practicing homosexauls will not be refused a Christian burial as long as they request them in “good faith”. Is his notion of good faith in accord with the Lord Jesus who says to repent and go sin no more. Or is his notion that of “ones good conscience” that says if I believe it is okay, then I can do it”

    5-Cardinal Blasé J. Cupich – Archdiocese of Chicago

    He proposed a pathway based on “ones good conscience” homosexuals should receive Holy Communion based on —“they have to follow their conscience.”

    The Cardinal will host a Pro-gay journalist at the Chicago Theology on Tap – Summer 2017.

    6- Jesuit Fr. James Martin – Pro-gay – is named by Pope Francis as a consultant to the Vatican.

    July 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Jesuit Father James Martin, who Pope Francis recently made a consultant to the Vatican, said on Good Morning America that he likes the “born this way” message of Lady Gaga.

    The song “Born This Way” is widely used as an anthem for the LGBT lobby. It features lyrics like “No matter gay, straight, or bi / Lesbian, transgendered life / I’m on the right track baby / I was born to survive” and “a different lover is not a sin.”

    “I was born this way” is repeated about 30 times throughout the song.

    Archbishop Chaput’s words about Fr. Martin’s book

    “In his recent book Building a Bridge (HarperOne), Father James Martin, S.J., calls the Church to a spirit of respect, compassion and sensitivity in dealing with persons with same-sex attraction. This is good advice. It makes obvious sense. He asks the same spirit from persons in the LGBT community when dealing with the Church. Father Martin is a man whose work I often admire. Building a Bridge, though brief, is written with skill and good will.

    But what the text regrettably lacks is an engagement with the substance of what divides faithful Christians from those who see no sin in active same-sex relationships. The Church is not simply about unity – as valuable as that is – but about unity in God’s love rooted in truth. If the Letter to the Romans is true, then persons in unchaste relationships (whether homosexual or heterosexual) need conversion, not merely affirmation. If the Letter to the Romans is false, then Christian teaching is not only wrong but a wicked lie. Dealing with this frankly is the only way an honest discussion can be had.”


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      Some of your news is past-tense. For instance, that “Theology on Tap” session in Chicago, with Cardinal Cupich himself, Father Thomas Rosica, and pro-gay journalist Michael O’Loughlin as featured speakers, took place 10 days ago, on Monday, 10 July 2017.

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        I do not understand — “some of your news is past-tense.” Clarify?

        {The author of the previous comment merely meant that the examples he cited were recent and he was not implying that the scandal is continuing in Rome and everywhere else.}
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    “We are subject to unintended after-effects of our choices, which subconsciously condition our brains to desire certain things more or less intensely”

    Our delusions of predictability and control are just that.


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    This is a powerful article. And i am going to share something deeply personal, and i can not say it is even rational when placed in context with the rest of my beliefs.

    As a Christian, i followed the rules about sex. In fact, maybe i followed them too closely. I eventually found myself in a position where i could not engage in intimacy with a woman because dotting all the i’s, crossing all the t’s made it impossible to be intimate.

    I am now 45, and still single. And now too inflexible to adapt to co-habitation with any one.

    And there is a certain amount of derangement that i experience in this condition. I envy the homosexual, lesbian or queer that has a relationship, because i feel like my sin in not coupling, in not expressing that part of human growth, is so much greater than theirs in coupling errantly. I have still committed the greater sin by shutting my life off from any one who may have loved me.

    Does this make any sense?

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      Your fundamental mistake is believing that “my sin in not coupling”.. Jesus did not couple, nor did Paul. Virginity is holy and good. The fundamental evil belief in modernity is that one must have sex to experience human growth.
      God bless, Michael

      • Avatar

        Also, there is a movement called MGTOW (Men going their own way) who would love to be in your position considering that hundreds of thousands of men have been divorced rape by feminism in the court systems. God has saved you from much suffering. Be thankful
        God bless, Michael


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    The Idea of a Catholic University 50 Years After Land O’Lakes

    Crisis Magazine

    William Inge (1860-1954), Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University and Dean of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, was frequently in the literary crosshairs of G.K. Chesterton for his anti-Catholic polemics and strident promotion of eugenics. Fortunately, Chesterton also rejected his advocacy of nudism. Given Dean Inge’s eclectic version of progressivism, one is struck by his cynicism about faddish thinking: “Whoever marries the spirit of this age will find himself a widower in the next.”

    Exactly fifty years ago, fads ran wild at the “Land O’Lakes Conference” in Wisconsin organized by Father Theodore Hesburgh of the University of Notre Dame to update the culture of Catholic higher education. Its summary document was published on July 23, in a year when society seemed to be having a nervous breakdown. It was a time of Vietnam protest rallies, an exploding drug culture, the Cold War at fever pitch, and actual combat in the Six Days War. Instead of challenging the cultural neurosis, the Church succumbed to it, as theological and liturgical chaos disappointed what Joseph Ratzinger would call the Pelagian naivetés of the Second Vatican Council. The heads of Catholic colleges and universities who gathered at Land O’Lakes were fraught with a deep-seated inferiority complex, rooted in an unspoken assumption that Catholicism is an impediment to the new material sciences, and eager to attain a peer relationship with academic leaders of the secular schools whose own classical foundations were crumbling and whose presidents and deans were barricading their offices against the onslaught of Vandals in the guise of undergraduates.

    Like Horace’s mountains that gave birth to a ridiculous mouse, the 26 conference participants labored for three days and then declared portentously in the first line of their Statement: “The Catholic university today must be a university in the full modern sense of the word.” Then they rallied the rhetorical anesthetics at their disposal to call for “warm personal dialogue” and “a self-developing and self-deepening society of students and faculty in which the consequences of Christian truth are taken seriously in person-to-person relationships.” While these cadences anticipate the cobbling of what in our present time have come to be “safe spaces” for students and faculty fleeing from facts or ideas they find upsetting or offensive, the Statement then trumpeted its real message: “…the Catholic university must have a true autonomy and academic freedom in the face of authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical, external to the academic community itself.”

    What we see on college campuses today, to wit the defiant prohibition of any speech that contradicts secular orthodoxy, is rooted in that false conceit of intellectual freedom which in fact is an unthinking acceptance of the Kantian antimonies of will and reason. Twenty years after Land O’ Lakes, the first Jesuit president of the Catholic University of America, Father William Byron, wrote: “We have never said that a student coming here is going to be indoctrinated. Just as a Catholic hospital is, first of all, a hospital, a Catholic university is, first of all, a university.” In that same year, as this writer recalled in an essay published in 1995, the president of Marymount College in New York, Sister Mary Driscoll preened: “In the 1960s and early 1970s most Catholic colleges severed even tenuous ties to the Church… We became independent and named lay trustees because of accreditation, the increased sophistication of higher education as a major enterprise and because of demands of growth.” On the fortieth anniversary of the Land O’Lakes Conference, Marymount College was dissolved.

    The Land O’Lakes Statement was hardly innovative, save in its destructive influence on Catholic education, for it was in fact a reactionary return to the early nineteenth century materialist pedagogy in Prussia which developed after the shock of its defeat in the battle of Jena, and to the utilitarian syllabus of Jeremy Bentham in England.

    In many ways, John Henry Newman faced crises parallel with those of 1967, when he delivered his “Lectures on the Idea of a University” in 1854. He was founding the Catholic University of Ireland in Dublin when most of the Catholic bishops themselves were conflicted about what constitutes university education. Newman’s vision extended beyond their parochial borders and his genius was a perplexity to prelatical mediocrity. Newman saw even more clearly than those at Land O’ Lakes that there is a distinction between natural knowledge and revealed knowledge, and that indoctrination is malignant only when it does not see the difference. Orthodoxies should be thought out, lest they become independent of reason. The ambiguous Catholicism of Land O’Lakes invoked a phantasm guised as freedom for truth but which was nothing more than liberty to reject truth.

    Fifty years later, secular schools have their own orthodoxies, and there are inquisitors ready to arraign anyone who doubts the dogmas of global warming or “transgenderism.” Where there is no right learning there will be rote learning, be it that of the fideist or atheist, and the two in fact will become indistinguishable. Newman taught in the classical sense of liberal education, whose core curriculum is largely abandoned now in schools that have become training centers for future hedge fund managers and computer engineers. “The end … of a Catholic University or of any university is ‘liberal education’; though its ultimate end may be Catholicism.” This was not a declaration of independence from Catholicism, but very much a declaration of dependence on that rational thought which provides the system and structure for Catholic culture in all its aspects.

    Newman’s project in Ireland was by many accounts a failure and not the only one of his disappointments, as he had to contend with a defensive insecurity among the Catholic leaders of his generation as palpable as that of those who huffed and puffed at Land O’Lakes. The singular difference was that in 1854 they thought the life of the mind might wreck the Faith, while in 1967 they though that it was the Faith. In exasperation, Newman wrote to a friend in 1873: “The laity have been disgusted and become infidel, and only two parties exist, both ultras in opposite directions.”

    So Newman wrote in his journal in 1863 words which could apply equally to the bishops of his day in Ireland as to the signatories of the Land O’ Lakes Statement: “From their very blindness [they] cannot see that they are blind. To aim at improving the condition, the status, of the Catholic body, by a careful survey of their argumentative basis, of their position relatively to the philosophy and the characters of the day, by giving them juster views by enlarging and refining their minds, in one word, by education is (in their view) more than a superficiality or a hobby—it is an insult.”

    If I have belabored citation of Newman, it is because he is as grand in thought and expression, as those at Land O’Lakes were not. Newman still is, while Land O’Lakes never was. Their ideas of a university clash, but in the perspective of history, the meager ruminations and pompous assertions from that gathering in Wisconsin someday will be embarrassing curiosities more interesting to anthropologists than to theologians. As Dean Inge predicted, their marriage to the spirit of the age has left them as widowers. But the wreckage of Catholic education around us, notwithstanding the bright spots in places where classical liberal education is getting a second breath, witnesses to the harm that wrong thinking and limited imagination can do. Superficial thought can be deeply ruinous. The Land O’Lakes Conference was to higher Catholic education what the Yalta Conference was to Eastern Europe. I neither indulge pessimism nor tease gloom if I suspect that few students in academic institutions today have ever read Newman’s Idea of a University even though it may be the most sublime discourse on the art of learning since Aristotle. If there are pieces to be picked up and a new start made against all odds, it will be while heeding what Newman wrote by lamplight on a dim day in Dublin:

    Hence a direct and active jurisdiction of the Church over [the university] and in it is necessary, lest it should become the rival of the Church with the community at large in those theological matters which to the Church are exclusively committed, —acting as the representative of the intellect, as the Church is of the religious principle.

    Fr. George W. Rutler


    Fr. George W. Rutler is pastor of St. Michael’s church in New York City. He is the author of many books including Principalities and Powers: Spiritual Combat 1942-1943 (South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press) and Hints of Heaven (Sophia Institute Press). His latest book is He Spoke To Us (Ignatius, 2016).

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    Updated: Pope Benedict’s Dramatic Telegram to a Dubia Cardinal (Original Translation + Commentary)


    Cardinal Joachim Meisner’s funeral was celebrated today.


    Cardinal Meisner was one of the four Cardinals to submit a dubia to Pope Francis asking the pope to clarify several ambiguities raised by Amoris Laetitia.

    I will let Fidem in Terra blog set the scene for what happened:

    A message from Pope Francis was read out by Archbishop Nikola Eterović, Apostolic Nuncio to Germany. To the surprise of those present, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Prefect of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, and Personal Secretary to Benedict XVI, read out a message by the Pope Emeritus.

    The message from Pope Benedict was greeted with a standing ovation, I am told.

    Here is what Pope Benedict wrote (I have asked someone I trust to create a translation based on the original German and Fidem in Terra’s English translation. If it is awkward it is because it is trying to stay extremely faithful to exactly what Pope Benedict wrote.) – emphasis mine:

    In this hour, when the church of Cologne and faithful from further a field gather to say goodbye to Cardinal Joachim Meisner,  I am also with you in my heart and thoughts, and therefore gladly follow the wish of Cardinal Woelki to address a word of remembrance to you.

    When I heard of the death of Cardinal Meisner last Wednesday, I did not first want to believe it. The day before we had talked with one another on the phone. His gratitude for the fact that he had been on vacation after he had participated in the beatification of Bishop Teofilius Matulionis in Vilnius on the previous Sunday (June 25) rang in his voice. The love for the Church in the neighboring countries in the East, which had suffered under the Communist persecution, as well as the gratitude for withstanding the sufferings of that time, shaped his life. And so is it is no coincidence that the last visit in his life was to a confessor of the Faith in those countries.

    What particularly impressed me in that last talk with the retired Cardinal, was the loosened happiness, the inner joy, and the confidence that he had found. We know that it was difficult for him, this passionate shepherd and pastor, to leave his office, especially in a time in which the Church especially needs convincing shepherds who resist the dictatorship of the Zeitgeist and quite decisively from the Faith live and think. But what moved me all the more was that, in this last period of his life, he had learned to let go and lived ever more out of the deep certainty that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when sometimes the boat is filled almost to capsizing.

    Two things recently certainly made him always more happy:

    • On the one hand, he has always told me how deeply he in the Sacrament of Penance, how young people, especially young men, are experiencing the grace of forgiveness – the Gift, they have indeed found the life that only God can give them.
    • The other, that always touched him and gave him joy, was the quiet growth of Eucharistic Adoration. At the World Youth Day in Cologne this was a central point for him – that there was Adoration, a silence, in which only the Lord spoke to the heart. Some Pastoral and Liturgical experts were of the opinion that such silence in looking at the Lord can not be achieved with such a huge number of people. Some were also of the opinion that Eucharistic Adoration was overtaken as such, by the Mass, since the Lord would want to be received in the Eucharistic bread and not be looked at. But that this Bread can not be eaten like any food, and that the Eucharistic sacrament “welcomes” all dimensions of our existence – that reception must be worship, has now become very clear again. Thus, the time of Eucharistic Adoration at the Cologne World Youth Day has become an interior event, which remained unforgettable not only to the cardinal. This moment since then was always inwardly present to him and a great light for him.


    When, on his last morning, Cardinal Meisner did not appear at Mass, he was found dead in his room. His Breviary had slipped out of his hands: he had died praying, in the sight of the Lord, talking to the Lord. The kind of death that was given to him, shows once again how he lived: in the sight of the Lord and in conversation with him. So we can confidently recommend his soul to the goodness of God. Lord, we thank you for the testimony of your servant Joachim. Let him now be an intercessor for the Church of Cologne, and on the whole earth! Requiescat in pace!

    Now, here is what is significant, I believe:

    1) Pope Benedict must know that Cardinal Meisner was one of the dubia cardinals.

    2) Pope Benedict describes Cardinal Meisner as “this passionate shepherd and pastor” — many of the progressive interpreters of AL have falsely charged the dubia cardinals of being somehow lacking in compassion or being bad pastors and shepherds for holding to the Church’s perennial teaching.

    3) Pope Benedict paints a happy picture of Cardinal Meisner’s last days on this earth, which is perhaps surprising because, as Pope Benedict says, something has been upsetting Cardinal Meisner, namely the “dictatorship of the Zeitgeist(“spirit of the age”) which in Pope Benedict’s opinion, produces a) unconvincing shepherds, who b) go along with the spirit of the age and c) do not live and think “decisively” from a place of “faith“.

    … So if Cardinal Meisner was not such a person, but instead was someone who valiantly opposed the spirit of the age, and the Cardinal was known by Pope Benedict to have doubtsabout the majority interpretation of AL, doesn’t this present the conclusion that Pope Benedict shares Cardinal Meisner’s view? (More thoughts on this central question below)

    4) The progressive interpreters of AL have been careful to constantly claim that their interpretation of AL is being placidly received by the pastors and people of God around the world. Those who disagree have pointed to the dubia and contradicting promulgations of AL diocese-by-diocese and parish-by-parish. Moreover, many people feel (as I do) that the Church is in fact at a very serious point of doctrinal and historical crisis precisely because of AL and Pope Francis’ refusal to answer the dubia submitted by Cardinal Meisner. And here, Pope Benedict paints a very shockingly serious picture of the current state of the Church: “in this last period of his life, [Cardinal Meisner] had learned to let go and lived ever more out of the deep certainty that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when sometimes the boat is filled almost to capsizing.

    … this biblical analogy is not a happy picture! Nor is “dictatorship” a word someone who survived the dictatorships of Hitler and Stalin would use lightly. Finally, Pope Benedict is not a man prone to exaggeration or hyperbole! Pope Benedict is painting a picture that, in fact, all is not well, and that Cardinal Meisner’s great faith allowed him to trust in God to protect His Church even when things look like they are almost the end.

    But of course, couldn’t Pope Benedict be more generally referring to all the troubles of the Church and the world? For some clarity, we need to understand what Pope Benedict means by the “dictatorship of the zeitgeist.”

    What does Pope Benedict mean by Zeitgeist?

    Pope Benedict’s most famous phrase of his theological life was the term “dictatorship of relativism” by which he means, “the falsehood, asserted with power, that says truth cannot be known”. It is one of the biggest post-modern fallacies. But the “dictatorship of the zeitgeist” is something slightly different, and even more pernicious: it is the effort to use the pressures of the progressive, secular establishment to force the Church to abandon the truth.

    John Allen in his biography of Pope Benedict (page 267) describes how Cardinal Ratzinger believes progressive theologians such as Charlie Curran and Hans Kung are guilty of being agents of the zeitgeist:


    Even more pointedly (Allen, page 262) :


    Therefore, when Pope Benedict says zeitgeist, he means something specific: the spirit of the age which attempts to change the Church’s teaching so that it mimics the shape of secular culture and loses its distinctive qualities, which are always traceable back to the biblical teaching of Christ and revelation itself.

    On the question of AL and its interpretation, it is simply a given fact that the progressive view has far more in common with the zeitgeist of the age than does the historical, perennial teaching. It is unquestionable that a church which allows more publicly divorced-and-remarried people to receive Communion is a church that looks less like the historical Catholic church and more like progressive, lower-c christian churches and … most notably, looks more like the German Catholic church.

    Remember  that the progressive interpretation of AL has its origin in the intervention of German Cardinal Water Kasper and the lobby of the German cardinals, and recall that the German church had already been practicing the progressive interpretation of AL even before AL was written! Pope Benedict is acutely aware of the situation of the church in Germany, and is conscientiously writing about how Cardinal Meisner stands out in contrast to its zeitgeist and Pope Benedict ends by thanking God not only for the Cardinal’s witness but for his “testimony” as well. (Meisner’s last testimony was the dubia.)

    Cardinal Meisner, in Pope Benedict’s view, was a German shepherd who resisted the predominant dictatorship of the zeitgeist in his country AND WE KNOW that Cardinal Meisner’s last days –literally his most famous and last major public act– was to submit a dubia to Pope Francis related to AL and to stand by it until his dying day, opposing the zeitgeist of the German church and the wider forces of this age.

    I share these thoughts because I continue to pray every day for pope Francis and pray that he will answer the dubia submitted to him.

    I also pray that Pope Francis does this while Pope Benedict is still living.

    Come, Holy Spirit.

    Update — a reader points out that Pope Benedict also underscores the need to respect the Eucharist, because it “cannot be eaten like any food” — and he explains how Adoration is properly worship, just as receiving the Eucharist should be an act of worship. In other words, Pope Benedict is reminding us that everyone is welcome at Adoration, even those in irregular or unresolved situations, or who are trying to live out their faith in obedience to the teachings of the Church. Again, a fascinating choice of topic for Pope Benedict to bring up in the midst of eulogizing one of the four dubia cardinals.

    The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of



    Thomas Peters, 31, grew up in Southern California and attended college in Michigan. He has two graduate degrees in theology. He began his award-winning American Papist blog in 2006, which went on to become one of the most popular Catholic blogs in America. He was one of a handful of Americans invited to the Vatican’s first-ever Bloggers’ Meeting in Rome. Peters has appeared in dozens of TV, radio and online media outlets over the years discussing the intersection of Catholicism and political activism, debating topics related to life, family and religious freedom, in addition to writing and speaking about the future of social media and online organizing. Since 2010, he has served as an advisor to He and his wife Natalie live in Washington DC. You can follow him on Twitter @AmericanPapist.

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    Review: Praise for The Political Pope: A Book Worth Supporting


    A Guest Book Review
    By Matt P. Gaspers*

    The Political Pope: How Pope Francis Is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives
    George Neumayr
    Hachette Book Group
    220 pages
    $18.36 Hardcover; $9.95 Paperback

    In early May of this year, I was browsing the headlines at OnePeterFive and came across one that peaked my interest: “An Interview with George Neumayr, Author of The Political Pope” by Dr. Maike Hickson. After I began reading the interview, it didn’t take long for me to conclude that I needed to read Mr. Neumayr’s book. One statement of his, in particular, which appears about a third of the way down, caught my attention: “Pope Francis is the worst teacher of the Faith in the history of the Catholic Church. One could not trust him to teach an elementary school religion class.” Immediately I had come to mind a strikingly similar observation made by John Vennari, the beloved late editor of Catholic Family News, just a few months into Francis’ pontificate:

    I’ve been following Pope Francis’ words and actions, and read the entire book On Heaven and Earth that he co-wrote with Rabbi Skorka.

    He seems to have a good heart and some good Catholic instincts, but theologically he is a train wreck – remarkably sloppy.

    Though this might shock some readers, I must say that I would never allow Pope Francis to teach religion to my children.[1]

    One of the first things I did after receiving my copy of The Political Pope in the mail was review the chapter endnotes to see what kinds of sources were used to document the contents of the book. Upon investigating, I was pleasantly surprised to find several familiar and trusted names listed, including Catholic Family News, The Remnant, Christopher Ferrara’s Fatima Perspectives column, Tradition in Action, Rorate Coeli, LifeSiteNews, and OnePeterFive. While also drawing from a wide variety of secular sources for relevant information, Neumayr demonstrates a clear and unapologetic support for traditional Catholicism throughout his book, which is wonderful to see.

    An Exposé of Pope Francis – In His Own Words

    One of the most powerful aspects of The Political Pope is that a good amount of material throughout the book consists of direct quotes from Francis himself. In many ways, it is a compilation in one volume of Francis’ most scandalous and revealing statements, which tragically exist in abundance. For example, Neumayr begins with a thorough look at the people, ideas, and culture which most shaped Jorge Mario Bergoglio during his formative years. The opening chapter, called “The Pope They Have Been Waiting For”, includes a section examining Francis’ communist mentor, a woman named Esther Ballestrino de Careaga, for whom he worked at a laboratory in Buenos Aires. Neumayr quotes Francis’ pleasant memories of Ballestrino and describes his enduring association with her:

    “She often read Communist Party texts to me and gave them to me to read. So I also got to know that very materialistic conception. I remember that she also gave me the statement of the American Communists in defense of the Rosenberg’s, who had been sentenced to death,” he has said. Learning about communism, he said, “through a courageous and honest person was helpful. I realized a few things, an aspect of the social, which I then found in the social doctrine of the Church.” After entering the priesthood, he took pride in helping her hide the family’s Marxist literature from the authorities who were investigating her. According to the author James Carroll, Bergoglio smuggled her communist books, including Marx’s Das Kapital, into a “Jesuit library.”[2]

    Francis’ admiration for Communists like Ballestrino remains the same to this day, as evidenced by his profoundly offensive claim (quoted by Neumayr) that “if anything, it is the communists who think like Christians.”[3]

    Who is Pope Francis?

    This is perhaps the central theme or core thesis of the book: Jorge Mario Bergoglio “is a product of political leftism and theological Modernism,” as Neumayr summed up in his interview with Dr. Hickson. He is the quintessential liberal Jesuit, born and raised in socialist Argentina, who in his young adult years encountered and embraced the Marxist-inspired heresy known as “liberation theology.” Neumayr spends roughly the first four chapters developing his thesis, relating biographical information about Bergoglio’s “progressive” formation under Fr. Pedro Arrupe (the Jesuits’ Superior General from 1965-1983), his single term as Provincial Superior in Argentina (1973-1979), and his tenure as Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires (1992-1998) and later Archbishop of the same (1998-2013). In each successive chapter, Neumayr explores a different facet of Francis’ pontificate in light of the above-mentioned thesis and presents copious supporting evidence.

    Interestingly, Neumayr’s description of how the Church ended up with Pope Francis is reminiscent of John Vennari’s assessment as presented in The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita: A Masonic Blueprint for the Subversion of the Catholic Church (published by TAN Books in 1999), more proof positive that Neumayr has done his homework. He opens Chapter Three (“The Left’s Long March to the Papacy”) of The Political Pope as follows:

    The election of Jorge Bergoglio marked the culmination of the left’s long march through the Church. For decades, liberals, both inside and outside the Church, had labored for the elevation of a progressive pope who would incorporate the tenets of modern liberalism into Catholicism. That movement has been gathering strength since at least the advent of the modernist heresy in the Church, which Pope Pius X addressed in his 1907 encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis.

    To read that encyclical today, one might think Pope Pius X was writing about the papacy of Francis. Pope Pius X warned that the modernists wish to fashion a faith “suited to the times in which we live,” based not on the immutable doctrines of Catholicism but on the subjectivism of “modern philosophy.” He foresaw a Church that would chase after elite fads, defer to the spurious claims of modern science, bow down to the secularism of the state, treat all religions as equal, cast Jesus Christ as a mere human political activist, reduce priests to social workers, and Protestantize its worship and doctrine.

    Despite Pope Pius X’s efforts, modernism continued to spread in the Church throughout the twentieth century, bubbling up most visibly at Vatican II and its aftermath. … The liberalism of Francis’ pontificate can be traced to that modernist spirit.[4]

    Granted, the errors mentioned above began well before Jorge Bergoglio was elected the 265th successor of St. Peter (they began in earnest during the reign of Pope John XXIII, 1958-1963), but it is equally true that Francis has taken those errors to unprecedented extremes.

    The Marxist Pope

    To understand Pope Francis and his radical pontificate, we must examine his words and deeds through the lens of his self-professed Marxism. As unbelievable as it is, the current occupant of the Chair of St. Peter is a firm adherent of liberation theology – that is, Communism with a Christian veneer – which was concocted by the Soviet KGB (secret police) and brought into Latin America by KGB agents as a means of subverting the Catholic Church.[5] During his four years as Supreme Pontiff, Francis has personally rehabilitated several previously censured liberation theologians, including Gustavo Gutierrez, Leonardo Boff,[6] and Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann. It is very reminiscent of how Pope John XXIII rehabilitated so many notorious Modernists just prior to Vatican II and invited them to participate as periti(theological experts) during the Council.[7] “According to Boff,” writes Neumayr, “Pope Francis will eventually rehabilitate all of the condemned liberation theologians from Latin America. Boff believes that Pope Francis is waiting until their old critic, Pope Benedict XVI, dies.”[8]

    His championing of socialism and admiration for socialists extends into the secular sphere as well, thus making him “a darling of the global left” and “the ecclesiastical equivalent of Barack Obama,” says Neumayr.[9] Whether it be his lobbying for the dubious “science” of climate change, his support of the United Nations’ radical environmentalism (i.e. population control via abortion and contraception), or his honoring of Alinskyite politicians such as Bernie Sanders with invitations to speak at the Vatican, Francis has proven himself a staunch ally of liberals the world over. And specifically in regard to the United States, Francis fosters what Neumayr calls “The Unholy Alliance” (Chapter Five of The Political Pope) between the Catholic left and the Democratic left. Prime examples of this alliance include such “Catholic” Democrats as former vice president Joe Biden, former House speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Tim Kaine (Hillary Clinton’s running mate) – all notorious for their full support of abortion, contraception, homosexual “marriage,” etc. – who have nothing but praise for Pope Francis, a fellow socialist.

    It is quite providential that Neumayr’s book has been published during this Fatima Centennial Year – in the month of May, no less – since it demonstrates so thoroughly that the “errors of Russia” about which Our Lady of Fatima came to warn us have indeed infected the Church at the highest levels.[10]

    No Tolerance for Tradition111

    One of the hallmarks of Francis’ pontificate continues to be his overt disdain for Sacred Tradition. It was evident, literally, from the first moments of his papacy when he was presented to the Church and the world on the central loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica. On that most solemn occasion, he declined to wear the traditional papal vestments (red mozzetta and stole)[11] and requested “the prayer of the people asking the blessing for their Bishop” from those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.[12] Only after a moment of silence for this “blessing from the people” did he then impart his Apostolic Blessing as Supreme Pontiff.

    This was only the beginning, the proverbial tip of the iceberg, as Neumayr chronicles throughout his book. Pope Francis has publicly ridiculed, scolded, and otherwise defamed devout Catholics (clergy and laity) on multiple occasions simply for their sincere fidelity to the traditional liturgy, doctrine, and discipline of Holy Mother Church. He has referred to traditional Catholics as “rigid,” “pharisaical,” “hardheaded,” and even “heretical” for refusing to accept his heterodox version of the Faith. In his inaugural Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (On the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World), Francis critiqued traditionalists in a very condescending and denigrating manner, as noted by Neumayr:

    He has accused traditional Catholics of “self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism,” without bothering to clarify the insult. Oozing contempt for traditionalist Catholics, he said they consider themselves “superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past” and that their “supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying.”[13]

    Unfortunately, Francis’ fierce opposition to Tradition and those Catholics faithful to it does not end with mere words. As Neumayr observes, “One of Pope Francis’ first moves was to harass a growing traditionalist order in Italy called the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, which had enthusiastically embraced Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI’s order authorizing wider use of the traditional Latin Mass.”[14] Neumayr goes on to quote from the decree issued by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (colloquially known as the Congregation for Religious) concerning the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (Protocol 52741/2012, dated 11 July 2013):

    “…the Holy Father Francis has directed that every religious of the congregation of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is required to celebrate the liturgy according to the ordinary [i.e. Novus Ordo] rite and that, if the occasion should arise, the use of the extraordinary form (Vetus Ordo) must be explicitly authorized by the competent authorities, for every religious and/or community that makes the request.”[15]

    This sort of treatment of traditional Catholics has apparently been par for the course throughout his clerical tenure. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Neumayr explains:

    The only group of Catholics whom Archbishop Bergoglio treated severely were conservative Catholics, whose interest in the traditional Latin Mass he blocked. “He has persecuted every single priest who made an effort to wear a cassock, preach with firmness, or that was simply interested in Summorum Pontificum,” Argentine journalist Marcelo González has written. Bergoglio referred to conservative religious orders as “restorationist factions” and decried their “rigid religiosity.”[16]

    Cheerleader for the Church’s Historic Enemies

    While Pope Francis is unjustly harsh with members of his own flock, he is inexplicably supportive of the Church’s most notorious enemies. Neumayr spotlights Francis’ incessant call for Europeans to allow a virtually unlimited number of Muslim “refugees” into their respective countries, thus referring to Francis as “The Open-Borders Pope” (Chapter Seven). He observes:

    In stark contrast to his predecessors, Pope Francis has shown no interest in reviving a historically Christian Europe against a potentially Eurabian future. Pope Francis subscribes to the left’s suicidally softheaded explanation for the rise of Islamic terrorism in Europe. He blames it not on Islamic radical ideology but on the West’s unwillingness to “integrate” Muslims and open its borders to them.[17]

    In conjunction with his dangerous call for open borders, Francis shamelessly defends Islam against reasonable criticism and promotes the false notion that it is a “religion of peace.” For example, he wrote thus in Evangelii Gaudium(portion quoted by Neumayr in bold):

    “We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our [traditionally Christian] countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.[18]

    I am reminded of Christopher Ferrara’s intrepid questions in response to this passage: “By what authority does Francis declare who are the ‘true followers of Islam’ and what constitutes ‘authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran’? Is this the Vicar of Christ or the Vicar of Mohammad speaking?”[19]

    Neumayr’s refreshingly accurate treatment of Islam throughout The Political Pope also brings to mind the magnificent declaration With Burning Concern: We Accuse Pope Francis penned by Michael Matt, Christopher Ferrara, and John Vennari (issued jointly by The Remnant and Catholic Family News in Sept. 2016). Addressing the Pope directly, the esteemed authors of With Burning Concern confront Francis on a whole host of subjects, including what they correctly identify as his “Absurd Whitewash of Islam.”[20]

    Pope Francis displays equal enthusiasm and spreads similar disinformation about the heresiarch Martin Luther, as evidenced by his trip last October to Lund, Sweden to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant revolt. Neumayr discusses this most regrettable episode, as well as the virtual “canonization” (or at least exoneration) of Luther by Pope Francis, which occurred in the Vatican a couple of weeks prior to the Lund trip:

    Pope Francis goes out of his way to prop up the Church’s historic opponents. Who could have imagined any other pope than this one celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation? In October 2016, Pope Francis traveled to Sweden to participate in a Catholic-Lutheran service that commemorated the beginning of Martin Luther’s revolt against Catholicism. According to L’Osservatore Romano, the idea for the joint commemoration came from Pope Francis, not from the Lutherans. …

    In anticipation of the trip, Pope Francis praised Luther, describing him as a “reformer.” He didn’t mention Luther’s sweeping rejection of Catholic doctrine and sacraments, reserving his criticism not for Luther but for the Church. “I believe the intentions of Martin Luther were not wrong,” he said. …

    … On October 13, 2016, in an event that played out almost like an Onion parody at the Vatican, a group of Lutherans presented a smiling Pope Francis with a copy of Martin Luther’s “95 Theses” against the Church.

    At that event, a young Catholic girl asked the pope, “My friends do not go to Church, but they are my friends. Do I have to help them to go to Church or is it enough that they simply remain good friends?” Don’t bother, the pope replied: “It is not licit that you convince them of your faith; proselytism is the strongest poison against the ecumenical path.”[21]

    So said the pope who devoted over 200 pages (Evangelii Gaudium) to discussing the urgent need for evangelization! What is “evangelization” if not an effort to convince others of our Faith – the one true Faith – and their need to embrace it for salvation?

    What Must Be Done?

    To conclude his groundbreaking work, Neumayr poses a most pressing question: “Will Paul Correct Peter?” (Chapter Twelve). As he explains, he is referring to the famous episode at Antioch when St. Paul “withstood [St. Peter] to the face, because he was to be blamed” for giving a bad example (see Gal. 2:11-14). Neumayr goes on to quote from Aquinas’ Summa on the importance of fraternal correction and exhorts his readers about the need to resist Francis, citing Bellarmine:

    “Just as it is lawful to resist the pope that attacks the body,” argued St. Robert Bellarmine, the celebrated sixteenth-century Jesuit, “it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed.”[22]

    Neumayr also discusses examples of the recent “historic pushback,” as John Vennari called it, such as the theological critique of Amoris Laetitia by an international group of 45 scholars and the famous dubia submitted to Pope Francis by Cardinals Burke, Brandmüller, Meisner, and Caffarra.

    Read the Book, Spread the Word

    This review has truly just scratched the surface of the contents of George Neumayr’s book. I strongly encourage readers to support his laudable work by purchasing a copy of The Political Pope, reading it in full, and then spreading the truth of its contents far and wide. As Neumayr ultimately concludes, our solemn duty as Catholics during this time of unprecedented crisis is to “defend the faith from a pope who aligns with her enemies.”[23] May we all “contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) and persevere in that Faith unto the end.

    And may we remember to pray much for the Holy Father, as Our Lady of Fatima and the three little shepherds taught us.


    * Originally published at Catholic Family News. 


    [1] John Vennari, “Blessed Pius IX, a Model in Our Struggle,” blog posted dated June 13, 2013 (

    [2] George Neumayr, The Political Pope: How Pope Francis is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives(New York: Center Street, 2017), p. 8

    [3] Ibid., p. 153; see also Steve Skojec, “Pope: ‘It is the Communists Who Think Like Christians,’” OnePeterFive online article posted Nov. 11, 2016 (

    [4] Neumayr, The Political Pope, p. 41-42

    [5] Neumayr cites Ion Mihai Pacepa, former head of intelligence for communist Romania, who defected to the United States in 1978 (see The Political Pope, p. 2-3). Pacepa offers a detailed account of the Soviet origins of liberation theology in his book Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism (Washington, DC: WND Books, Inc., 2013), p. 106-110.

    [6] Neumayr cites an article by John Vennari (“Pastoral Discernment and Dead Members ‘Alive’”) as his source for a quote from Boff (see The Political Pope, p. 16, note 11).

    [7] See Roberto de Mattei, The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story (Fitzwilliam: Loreto Publications, English Ed. 2012), p. 188-192

    [8] Neumayr, The Political Pope, p. 5

    [9] Ibid., p. 11

    [10] See Maike Hickson, “Have the ‘Errors of Russia’ Now Infected Rome?” OnePeterFive online article posted Dec. 13, 2016 (; Jan Bentz, “Bishop Schneider likens treatment of four Cardinals to Soviet regime: ‘We live in a climate of threats,’” LifeSiteNews online article posted Dec. 6, 2016 (

    [11] He wore the traditional gold-embroidered red stole only while imparting his first papal blessing, then immediately removed it.

    [12] First Greeting and Apostolic Blessing (Urbi et Orbi) of Pope Francis given Mar. 13, 2013 (

    [13] Neumayr, The Political Pope, p. 164; see Evangelii Gaudium, n. 94 (

    [14] Ibid., p. 190

    [15] Ibid.; see Sandro Magister, “For the First Time, Francis Contradicts Benedict,” Chiesa online article posted July 29, 2013 (

    [16] Neumayr, The Political Pope, p. 73

    [17] Ibid., p. 126

    [18] Ibid., p. 147-148; Evangelii Gaudium, n. 253

    [19] Christopher A. Ferrara, “Vicar of Christ or Vicar of Mohammad?” article published in Sept. 2016 issue of Catholic Family News

    [20] See With Burning Concern: We Accuse Pope Francis, Part II (

    [21] Neumayr, The Political Pope, p. 155-156

    [22] Ibid., p. 219

    [23] Ibid., p. 221

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    BREAKING: Benedict issues clarion call to all bishops
    BREAKING: Benedict issues clarion call to all bishops
    Louie July 17, 2017
    Cardinal Ratzinger Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice


    [ Emphasis and {Commentary} in red type by Abyssum ]

    Cardinal Ratzinger delivers sermon, Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice, 18 April 2005

    The message sent by Benedict to be read aloud at the funeral of Cardinal Meisner is generating a great deal of buzz in Catholic circles, and for good reason.

    Even so, some very important aspects of the text don’t seem to be getting nearly enough attention. Before we get to that, however, let’s take a moment to consider just how extraordinary this situation truly is.

    We have good reason to believe that Benedict is a man “under wraps,” if you will. One might even suggest that he is being held captive to some extent.

    Yes, I know… It sounds like a Dan Brown novel, but let’s not forget yet another bombshell that Benedict managed to lob into the public record; this one dated October 2014.

    Recall that Benedict had responded by letter to an invitation that he received to participate in a Pontifical High Mass as part of a Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage in Rome.

    The Pope Contemplatus wrote:

    “My state as a ‘cloistered monk’ does not allow me a presence that is also exterior. I leave my cloister only in particular cases, [when] personally invited by the Pope.”

    Get that?

    Benedict plainly, albeit cleverly, informed the world that he is not “allowed an exterior presence” unless personally invited by Francis. Not allowed!

    This is a far cry from what Benedict said just 20 months earlier when he announced his resignation:

    “With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.” (Benedict XVI, February 11, 2013)

    How did we get from choosing “a life dedicated to prayer” to becoming a “cloistered monk” who can only leave his cloister when personally invited by the Pope?

    The solitary conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the veritable imprisonment of which Benedict spoke isn’t his own idea; it had to have come from his “superior,” that is, Francis himself.

    Let’s be clear:

    Benedict is not one to shoot from the hip. He chooses his words carefully. Of this we can be especially certain when it comes to a written text, and this applies to both the letter of 2014 and the one that we’re about to discuss.

    With this in mind, let’s now take a closer look at the message that was read aloud at Cardinal Meisner’s funeral.

    First, it seems obvious that the two men had a close relationship and spoke rather regularly. We are told, in fact, that they had spoken just the day before the cardinal died.

    Benedict further relates:

    “What particularly impressed me from my last conversations [NOTE: plural] with the now passed Cardinal was the relaxed cheerfulness, the inner joy and the confidence at which he had arrived.”

    From the content of the message, one gets the impression that the two men had a “fraternal” relationship.

    Benedict went on to relate concerning their final conversation that Cardinal Meisner was pleased to be on vacation. This is just the kind of thing one might expect to come up when good buddies shoot the breeze, right?

    Sure, but don’t be fooled.

    In spite of however many years their friendship went back, Cardinal Meisner was “old school” enough that there is little doubt that he saw his relationship with Benedict primarily as one of Holy Father and son.

    In other words, Benedict was someone from whom the cardinal could seek guidance, and we can be certain that it was always carefully considered when given.

    Note that Benedict wrote of the cheerfulness, joy and confidence at which Cardinal Meisner had arrived.

    Evidently, he was Meisner’s confidence even prior to this point; presumably in the lead up to the dubia.

    One wonders what kind of advice, if any, Benedict may have given to Cardinal Meisner in those days…

    We can only speculate, of course, but two things seem very unlikely:

    Firstly, that Meisner would not have failed to seek Benedict’s counsel before participating in the dubia, and secondly, that he would not have added his name to the text had Benedict counseled against it.

    At this, we come to the money quote:

    “What moved me all the more was that, in this last period of his life, he learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even if the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.”

    I get the sense that Benedict may have been speaking of himself to some extent – learning to let go in this last period of life; arriving at a place of relaxed cheerfulness, inner joy and confidence in spite of the unprecedented turmoil in the Church (to say nothing of one’s own contribution to it).

    Either way, I think it’s safe to say that Benedict had a hand in leading his son, Cardinal Meisner, to this point of resignation (no pun intended).

    Before we discuss the capsizing Church and the extent to which it represents a cleverly delivered critique of Captain Bergoglio, I’d like to focus on that portion of the text that was read just prior as it is critically important:

    “The Church stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age and who live and think the faith with determination.”


    Again, let us be certain that Benedict has chosen his words very carefully.

    With this in mind, it would seem rather obvious, to me at any rate, that Benedict is calling our attention back to the now-famous words that he had spoken in his homily for the Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice, the Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff, offered just prior to the conclave of 2005 that elected him pope.

    “Relativism, that is, letting oneself be ‘tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine,’ seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.”

    In this, Benedict – a veritable “cloistered monk” beholden to the whims of his “superior” – is providing a masterclass in Romanitas. He is telling all with ears to hear what he really thinks of the Bergoglian enterprise!

    It seems clear to me that this text was not, as one might expect, properly vetted by Bergoglio’s operatives prior to being read. Might someone’s head roll as a result; perhaps even that of Georg Ganswein? We shall see…

    In any case, it is no coincidence that we were invited to reconsider, in light of current events, that portion of Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2005 homily wherein he spoke of being “tossed about,” and this just prior to his comment concerning the Church of today being like a boat on the verge of capsizing.

    (See, continuity can be useful!)

    It is helpful to know that this imagery is Scriptural in a twofold sense.

    In 2005, then Cardinal Ratzinger was referring to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians:

    “That henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the wickedness of men, by cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive. (Eph. 4:14)”

    At that time, the soon-to-be Pope Benedict XVI was speaking of “dictatorship” as that worldly point of view opposed by the Church. He immediately went on to describe this opposition thus:

    “We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man … a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceit from truth.”

    In 2017, by contrast, Benedict is calling our attention back to his words of 2005 while speaking of the present state of affairs inside the Church. He is telling us that the “dictatorship” has entered her very bosom.

    Yes, I understand, it entered primarily via the Almighty {Vatican II} Council; a point lost on men like Benedict, but be that as it most certainly is, his indictment of Dictator Bergoglio stands.

    Wicked, crafty, cunning, lying in wait to deceive… A man who does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.

    Is this not a fitting description of he who masterminded the Synods in order to pave the way for Amoris Laetitia?

    As I stated, the seafaring imagery under discussion is Scriptural in a twofold sense. The second concerns the Church as a boat that has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.

    “And behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but he was asleep. And they came to him, and awaked him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish. And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up, he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying: What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey him? (Matthew 8:24-27)”

    From this, we can glean a couple of things.

    One, in the eyes of the world, the Church is fast crumbling to the point of irrelevancy; so much so that her detractors are moved to taunt the faithful in the manner of the Pharisees:

    Your Church is beaten and bloodied. Where is your Lord now; sleeping?

    Through the eyes of faith, however, while we recognize the severity of the ecclesial crisis as much or more than anyone, we know that it only appears as if Our Lord has left us to perish. We know that He is ever the true Head of His Church, and He will not let her fail.

    More specifically as it concerns Dictator Bergoglio, this scene from the Gospels is highly relevant.

    In the interest of space, I invite you to read (or reread as the case may be) the following post from June 2015: The Church will doubt as Peter doubted…

    There you will find a treatment of Our Lady’s warning as given at Fatima and the commentary of Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII) concerning it:

    “This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul … A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God.”

    In the above-mentioned scene described in Matthew’s Gospel, Bergoglio is represented (if you will allow) by Peter who is among those who ask of Jesus, What manner of man is this?

    Long story short, he knows that Jesus is a man, but he doubts that He is God.

    As I argue in the post linked above, the entire Bergoglian menace rests upon just such a Christological heresy; namely, doubt concerning the divinity of Jesus Christ.

    In conclusion, it seems as if the most profound aspect of Benedict’s message as read at the funeral of Cardinal Meisner has been overlooked by many:

    Having painted this dreadful and stunningly accurate portrait of the Dictator Bergoglio, Benedict issued a call directed at the entire episcopate:

    “The Church stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship…”

    Bishops of the world, are you listening?

    aka focus

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    Kids with illnesses, like mine, deserve better than ObamaCare

    [ Emphasis and {Commentary} in red type by Abyssum ]
    Kids with illnesses, like mine, deserve better than ObamaCare
    © Getty

    While both sides of the healthcare debate are rolling out stories of victims to pull on the heartstrings, every American is going to be a loser if ObamaCare isn’t repealed and replaced. I have two children with cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic disease that ravages the lungs and digestive system, will ultimately shorten my children’s lifespans, and cost a fortune to treat throughout their lives.

    This debate has a very real impact on my family. We need good health insurance, just like other families or individuals with pre-existing conditions. But the false promises of ObamaCare have never been the answer.

    Legislators and lobbyists in Washington, D.C., can argue for months over how to fix ObamaCare, the healthcare legislation forced through Congress in 2010 under President Obama’s tutelage. He promised the law would cover 23 million people; in actuality, it’s covered less than half of that.

    In 2013, Politifact declared President Obama’s pithy ObamaCare pitch, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it,” as the Lie of the Year. Insurers are fleeing the exchanges and states all together. When they aren’t doing that, they are asking for insane rate increases, like the one and only insurer left in Delaware, who asked for a 33.6 percent rate increase for 2018. Residents of Delaware are getting off easy compared to people in Iowa, whose only ObamaCare insurer in the state asked for a rate hike of 43.5 percent. And, next year, it’s projected that 2.4 million Americans will only have one insurer to “choose” from, while 27,000 Americans will have zero options under ObamaCare.

    ObamaCare is collapsing and Americans are worried sick about what’s next, especially families like mine, that rely on health insurance to pay for expensive treatment.

    While politicians in Washington are arguing about the finer details of ObamaCare, it’s imploding all around the country. Soon, they will have nothing to argue over because ObamaCare won’t exist.

    And part of me wonders if that was the plan all along. Step 1: Create an unsustainable quasi-private, quasi-government health coverage that will fail because ObamaCare did nothing to help reduce the costs of healthcare and prescription drugs. Step 2: When ObamaCare fails, con Americans into believing that European-style single payer healthcare is the savior.

    And as a parent of two children with life-threatening diseases, this impending implosion of ObamaCare and the subsequent national pitch for single payer health care terrifies me the most. The state would then have the ability to say when they would cut off care to any American.

    Look at who President Obama chose for a recess appointment as the head of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2010, Dr. Donald Berwick. The esteemed doctor actually published papers effectively laying out how the state could ration care to those who were deemed to contribute less to society.

    In the UK, baby Charlie Gard’s parents are being told that he will be removed from life support against their wishes and that they are not allowed to move their son out of the hospital to die at home or to take to another country for treatment, even those though they have raised all of the money to pay for it. The state is holding their son hostage.

    While I share the concern that Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) Better Care Reconciliation Act would cut Medicaid, which 45 percent of CF patientsrely on for some type of coverage to help pay the tens of thousands of dollars each month just for prescription drugs, a single payer health care system is not the way to go.

    As Americans, my children are very lucky. They live in a nation that, because of the free market, gives great incentives to drug companies to spend millions of dollars on research to find life-sustaining and life-prolonging treatments. For example, Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals developed Kalydeco and Orkambi, two of the first drugs in the history of the world that correct a specific genetic defect. Those two medicines could add years of life for CF patients.

    While the annual costs of these medicines are high, so was the cost of developing them. Are they making millions in profits? I hope so. They took the risk and spent years doing something others have previously failed to do, researching a drug that they knew would only treat about 30,000 Americans. So yes, I hope they are making a hefty load of cash as I pray they go back and keep researching until they find a cure.

    Patients in other countries are still waiting for these drugs because their single-payer government health care system won’t pay the high costs.

    Watching the wheels of Washington turn is agonizing for parents and patients of deadly and expensive diseases.OUR

    And the bottom line is this: Congress needs to uphold President Trump’s promise to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with something better, something that keeps health insurance companies in the game and encourages citizens to pay for private insurance, something that allows those who truly need it to have access to Medicaid benefits, something that helps lower the cost of healthcare with free market reforms, and something that keeps our health care system far, far away from Charlie Gard’s kidnappers in the UK.

    Get to work, Congress. Either step up and do your jobs or get out of the way.

    Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America.

    The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

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    Pope Benedict’s Message at Funeral of Cardinal Meisner: “The Lord Does Not Abandon His Church”


    We reported last week on the death of Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Germany, Archbishop Emeritus of Cologne and one of the four so-called “dubia cardinals”. Dr. Maike Hickson also shared a touching memorial of Meisner, who by all accounts was beloved by all who knew him. In a report on the German cardinal written last year, Hickson also noted his closeness to Pope Benedict XVI, and his role in the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the office of the papacy in 2005, in opposition to the wishes of the so-called “Sankt Gallen Mafia,” who were reported to have desired the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio at that time.

    Today, Saturday, July 15, 2017, the funeral Mass for Cardinal Meisner was offered in Cologne Cathedral. Pope Francis, who was not present, had a message read to those gathered by the Apostolic Nuncio to Germany, Archbishop Nikola Eterović. Then, in what has been characterized as a surprise — particularly considering his usual silence on matters facing the Church — a message from the Pope Emeritus himself was read by his Personal Secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who also serves as Prefect of the Papal Household for Pope Francis.

    When one reads the following message — particularly that moment where the Pope Emeritus speaks of how Meisner “learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even if the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing,” one cannot help but see in it a possible reflection on his own choice to step away from the papacy, and the crisis that even now engulfs the Church in his absence. This message, of course, of the Lord not abandoning His Church, cannot be read in isolation from the somewhat cryptic message the Pope Emeritus gave the five new cardinals at the ordinary public consistory last month: “The Lord wins in the end.” It would appear this is a theme very much on the mind of the former pontiff in recent days.

    Below we provide the full text of Pope Benedict’s message on the occasion of the funeral of Cardinal Joachim Meisner, graciously translated by 1P5’s Matthew Karmel.

    Vatican City 11. 7. 2017

    At this hour, as the faithful of the church of Cologne and far beyond bid Cardinal Joachim Meisner farewell, my heart and my thoughts are with you, and I am pleased to fulfill Cardinal Woelki’s request to address a word of remembrance to you.

    As I learned last Wednesday via telephone of the death of Cardinal Meisner, I initially couldn’t believe it. We had spoken on the telephone to one another just the day before. Gratefulness for finally being able to begin his vacation after having participated in the beatification ceremony of Bishop Teofilius Matulionis in Vilnius on the previous Sunday (25th June) was audible in his voice. Love for the churches in the neighboring countries to the East, which suffered under Communist persecution, as well as an appreciation for their holding fast amidst the suffering of those times made a lifelong impression upon him. And, thus, it is no coincidence that the last visitation of his life was paid in respect to a Confessor of the Faith from those lands.

    What particularly impressed me from my last conversations with the now passed Cardinal was the relaxed cheerfulness, the inner joy and the confidence at which he had arrived. We know that this passionate shepherd and pastor found it difficult to leave his post, especially at a time  in which the Church stands in particularly pressing need of convincing shepherds who can resist the dictatorship of the spirit of the age and who live and think the faith with determination. However, what moved me all the more was that, in this last period of his life, he learned to let go and to live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even if the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.

    Of late, two things caused him to become ever more joyful and confident:

    For one, he repeatedly related to me how it filled him with profound delight to see how young people, especially young men, experienced the grace of forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession – the gift of having truly found that life which only God can give them.

    The other thing which always touched him anew and put him in a joyful mood was the quiet spread of Eucharistic Adoration. At World Youth Day in Cologne, this was a central concern of his: that there be Adoration – a silence in which only the Lord speaks to the heart. Some experts in pastoral work and liturgy were of the opinion that such silence in contemplation of the Lord could not be achieved with such a large number of people. A few even considered Eucharistic Adoration as such to be obsolete, as the Lord desires to be received in the Eucharistic Bread, and not examined. That, however, one cannot eat this Bread like some common aliment, and that to “receive” the Lord in the Eucharistic Sacrament makes demands upon every dimension  of our existence – that to receive must be to adore – has since become once again very clear. Thus, the interlude of the Eucharistic Adoration at the Cologne World Youth Day became an interior  event  which  remained,  not only for the Cardinal, unforgettable. This moment remained ever present, like a great light, within him.

    When, on his last morning, Cardinal Meisner didn’t appear to Mass, he was found dead in his room. His breviary had slipped from his hands: he died praying, looking to the Lord, speaking with the Lord. The manner of death which was granted to him shows once again how he lived: looking to the Lord and speaking with the Lord. Therefore, we may with confidence recommend his soul to the benevolence of God. Lord, we thank Thee for the witness of Thy servant Joachim. May he be an intercessor for the church of Cologne and for the whole world! Requiescat in pace!

    (Signed Benedict XVI)

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